Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli
Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli hand-delivered a letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty’s office today with a message from Northern stakeholders: do not sell Ontario Northland’s rail freight division.
The letter is the culmination of months of investigation which found the government will achieve no savings through its ONTC fire sale, and consultations with Northern businesses and communities who will be affected.
“Based on what I’ve found and what I’ve heard, it’s clear to me and the Ontario PCs that Ontario Northland’s rail freight service is strategic infrastructure that is critical to economic development and private sector job creation in Northern Ontario,” Fedeli said.
“That’s why the stakeholders believe the rail freight division must remain publicly owned.
It should be treated the same way as highways and other essential services.”
The letter also recommends the Premier replace Rick Bartolucci as Northern Development Minister, and move responsibility for the ONTC to the Ministry of Transportation.
It further urges the Premier to appoint an ONTC Board based on transportation and business expertise, not patronage, and to conduct a strategic asset review of all ONTC assets, operations, and services.
“That review must include consultation with Northern business and municipal leaders, and allow the ONTC unions to compete for any service being considered for privatization,” said Fedeli.
“The focus for each decision must be private sector job creation in the North.”
Fedeli and Opposition Leader Tim Hudak will host a town hall meeting in North Bay on Wed., Sept. 26 from 6-7 p.m. at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 23 at 150 First Ave. W.